Underbites are a ‘bad bite’ condition characterized by protruding lower teeth and jaw, such that they are in front of the upper teeth with your mouth closed. Ideally, the upper teeth should cover the lower ones slightly. But with an underbite, the alignment is reversed, causing the patient to have an unnatural appearance.
Causes of underbites
Also referred to as prognathism or Class III malocclusion, underbites are commonly a hereditary problem. So if one of your parents has/had an underbite, then the child is likely to develop one as well.
Other possible causes of underbites include:
- Thumb sucking
- Tongue thrusting
- Extended use of a bottle or pacifier
Underbites not only give you an unnatural look, but also interfere with other oral functions, such as chewing and speech, which can strain your teeth and jaw muscles.
Treatment for underbites
At Dreamland Dental & Orthodontists in Bellflower, we offer a number of orthodontic solutions for underbites and other kinds of malocclusion, for children, teens, and adults. Depending on your case, your dentist may recommend:
- Braces – this is one of the most common options for moving the teeth and jaw to the correct position. It is a gradual process that may take 12 to 18 months.
- Invisalign – if your teen is self-conscious about wearing braces, we may recommend Teen Invisalign, which uses a series of clear aligners to slowly move the teeth and jaw to the correct position.
- Appliances – depending on a specific case, other special appliances may be recommended to help move the teeth and jaw, including expanders, headgear, and retainers.
- Oral Surgery – in severe cases of malocclusion in adults, surgery may be necessary to restore your quality of life.
Contact Dreamland Dental & Orthodontics at 562-867-2026 to learn more about our treatments for malocclusion, or to schedule your appointment.